Thursday, 30 May 2013

Your Secret Garden: The Balcony & Small Spaces Edition Part 2

Clockwise from top left: outdoor table; planters designed to hang off balcony railings; outdoor rugs; birdy outdoor lights, outdoor solar lamps; love this balcony railing canvas designed to give low balconies some much needed privacy!            All above items available at Ikea
In part one of this two part series, I explained my idea of a nice, small outdoor space or balcony along with examples to stir your creative juices. Here in this second part I'm going to share some of my latest and greatest finds for your tiny part of the great outdoors. Hopefully it will help take your creative juices from stirrings to reality.
Clockwise from top left: Brommo Chaise Lounge; Double Lounger (ideal for snuggles); acapulco chair; PS VÅGÖ Chair; Umbra Loft Outdoor Couch Set; Tierra Outdoor Pouf; Globe Outdoor Sconce; Figueira Swing Chair
I've chosen all these awesomely fun pieces of furniture specifically with small spaces in mind. Even the couch option comes in individual pieces in order to be customized for your space. Some of this furniture may seem large, but trust me, you'd rather have a few larger comfy pieces than a collection of small rickety chairs.

An extra tip: keep your larger furniture pieces (like an outdoor couch) relatively neutral and add colour with showcase pieces like the swing chair and in your pillows, pots, rugs, etc. This way it stays fun and colourful, but easy to change if you get bored with it. But most of all follow your gut and have fun with it! No need for an outdoor space to feel serious.
Clockwise from top left: Angled Plant Stand; Keep the birdies close; Oscar Rail Planter; ÄPPLARÖ Bench with Storage; Super Fun B&W Outdoor Rug; Woolly Pocket Wall Planters
Aaaaand a few more accessory ideas to keep your secret balcony garden a fun and playful escape! Hope you enjoyed this curated shopping experience!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

DIY: Design a Unique Cork Board Part 1 of 2

So now for a fun easy little project: making your own unique cork board. I am in the habit of keeping a cork board in my home office, as what I like to call an inspiration board. This board is ever evolving depending on what I'm working on and what is inspiring me right now.  But cork boards can be used for a variety of purposes from keeping all your sticky notes in one place to acting as a message board for the whole family.

All you will need for this project is a cork board of your desired shape and size, fabric, fabric scissors and a glue gun.
Step 1: Cut your fabric using your cork board measurements but adding two inches to each side for the overlap. The extra two inches is so your fabric can wrap around the entire board, including the trim and still have enough fabric on the back to adhered it to the back of your board with a glue gun.
Step 2: Glue the fabric to the back of the board making sure to pull it tightly and look at the front occasionally to make sure the fabric is is aligned properly with the board. This is especially important if your fabric has stripes or a geometric pattern because you'll want to make sure the pattern is nice and straight. Also, make sure to neatly fold the corners before gluing in place.

Step 3: As you are gluing, make sure to cut divets in your fabric where the wall hangers for the cork board are located.
Step 4: That's pretty much it. Simple hey!?! Hang your cork board in desired location and fill it up with pictures, notes, whatever floats your boat!

Here's my version of the finished product as a mood board:
Hope you enjoy this little project as much as I did! Feel free to share your versions!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Your Secret Garden: The Balcony & Small Spaces Edition Part 1

So it's finally spring and your bummed out because you don't have a yard. Do not fear my dear, because creativity flourishes within boundaries. If you have a small deck or patio, but no yard, then this post is for you. I'm going to share some inspirational pics in this post and some of my favorite products for amazing tiny outdoor spaces in the next one. I've divided this topic into two posts because it was getting to be too big! But awesome for you, because there will be lots of great info and inspiration to make your small outdoor space your very own secret garden!
Have a Moroccan Themed Patio Party
First things first: It doesn't matter if you have a huge yard or a tiny balcony, the number one ingredient is plants, plants, plants! Hanging baskets, potted plants, plants on the walls, etc, etc, etc. No outdoor space is complete without greenery.
So Chill
Good lighting is also a must. In fact, your lighting requirements will not be that much different from any indoor space. You'll want a combination of general spacial lighting, mood lighting and task lighting. Mood lighting can be things like candles, little white Christmas lights strung across the ceiling of your balcony or floodlights that are dramatically up-lighting your plants. You know, the fun stuff. While task lighting is for, of course, specific tasks. For proper task lighting, think of how you imagine utilizing your space. Do you like reading? Then you will need and outdoor table lamp or well placed sconce so you can sit out there on beautiful warm summer evenings soaking up the latest novel. General spacial lighting indoors often functions as a ceiling fixture, but in an outdoor space it is generally a wall or ceiling mounted porch light. 
Comfy Outdoor Nest
A lounge chair, table and plants are all you need on this lovely little balcony
Now this is outdoor living!
Colourfully decorated little nook
Lastly, you'll want to add furniture and accessories. Accessories such as outdoor rugs, pillows and lanterns complete a space and add the drama and personality. As far as furniture goes, choose wisely! If you only have a small patio or balcony I hate to say it, but don't bother with a bistro set. I know, I know, everyone with a small outdoor space automatically thinks "bistro table and chairs". My problem with bistro sets (although very adorable and admittedly hard to resist) is that they are rickety and uncomfortable. Seriously, have you ever sat at an outdoor bistro table and thought "well, this is certainly a comfy experience"? If you have I would love to know where you got your set from. An outdoor space is meant for enjoyment and lingering for long luxurious periods of time, therefore it needs to be comfortable for more then five minutes. I would suggest a larger dining set, couple of lounge chairs, outdoor floor pillows, a hanging chair, a hammock, or even an outdoor couch (if you can squeeze it in) as viable alternatives. Add a coffee table or a couple of end tables and viola! You have yourself an outdoor space that you will actually use. I sure hope you find this info will help you fully enjoy your outdoor space, no matter what the size. And please, if you have any tips or tricks, I would love to here about them!
Modern Lush Balcony